After Hours

by | Apr 21, 2015 | 13 comments

I’ve been spending a lot of time out in the sun this past week or so; setting up a (make shift) vegetable plot and tending to the weeds. Ordinarily I’d be feeling very guilty about doing anything beside work in work hours and I still am a little. But after a pretty miserable last year where worry ruled most days, I’ve decided to do more of what I find to be important. I’ve even been making more time to spend at the workbench and have made progress with a couple of small projects.

Once the sun’s gone in I get in my real hours of graft; in the comfort of my arm chair, laptop on lap with plentiful supply of chocolate and tea. I’m ploughing through video editing, website design and drawings, and I’m there until early hours most mornings.
You have to create your own perks when you work for yourself and occasionally you get to make the rules. When I can be flexible with my time I enjoy it most, and whilst a lot of people would want to escape work on an evening, I find when I can relax through the day I’m more productive for it.

All of the big plans that we had set for last year are now getting back on track so the blog will be seeing lots of changes very soon.


Related Posts

About Helen Fisher

About Helen Fisher

Helen seeks to explore ways to live with greater joy & sustainability for both ourselves & the planet. Concepts which have led to the launch of her second business We Are Carbon. As the producer of our videos, Helen brings a unique perspective & injects life to our education ensuring it is both a pleasure to watch & easy to follow & learn from. Learn More About Helen & The English Woodworker.


  1. Ken Haygarth

    That’s the way to do it. You have to take charge of your life, pick your path, and see where it takes you.

    Very best to you both 😉

  2. Dave

    And let’s face it, you don’t want to be gardening in the wee hours, so that way’s much better!

  3. kieron matthews

    Work/life balance is very important. If you are a to do list writer use these as your headers and put task below them and life will be sweet.

    1. Do great work with/for current clients
    2. Attract future clients
    3. Write and speak about my ideas
    4. Be present with family and friends
    5. Have fun and take care of myself
    6. The other 5% (crap like washing up, take the bins out etc)

    No look at old to do lists and see if there is a difference.


  4. David Nighswander

    It can be harder to work for oneself than doing a day job. The boss is always looking right through you.
    I find it easier to address emails and update blogs after I’m in my easy chair and all the heavy lifting is done. The thing I’ve tried to watch out for is not allowing myself time to just be.
    Whenever my wife wishes to talk I stop and put away the computer, tools, lawnmower or whatever and enjoy the time together. It’s not a perfect system but it breaks up the day.

  5. Rich

    Helen, I’ve learned that it is the feeling of the struggle that makes the struggle.
    Have a great day!

  6. Paul Bouchard

    I haven’t mastered it myself by any stretch but after 25 years of doing illustration at home, I’m also coming to the realization that I’d rather do outdoor stuff during the day and tend to concentrate better in the evenings. The only problem being that I find it hard to join into other people’s evening activities when I’ve painted myself into a corner with a deadline.

    The animations that accompany the wall cupboard videos really helped explain the project and framed the live action sequences nicely. I wish a lifestyle channel would feature material like that, instead of all the faked reality shows. It looked very professional.

  7. Jim Linn

    Oh how I wish I could work for myself! When one thinks about how much of one’s irreplaceable time is wasted by the incompetence (I nearly wrote incontinence) of work “colleagues”, and commuting etc it feels terrible.

    My company effectively says to me “Jim, here’s an aeroplane, a crew and a load of self loading cargo (passengers). Take it to there and back again.” Trouble is, the rest of the airline then tries to make that task as difficult as possible!

    Good news, though. At the end of May, I’m going part time; five on five off fixed pattern. It means I can get to the European Woodworking Show, for one thing.

    I hope you’ll have something for me to buy…

  8. Strap

    I worked for myself in the computer industry and found the extra time I spent in the evenings with a problem Was solve the next morning so quickly. A tired brain does not do good work.

  9. Patrick

    Mmmmmm, chocolate, tea and a big comfy chair. Life is good.

  10. Stephen Guest

    Hi Helen,

    Thank you for the post. I understand the guilt with tasks that don’t seem immediately associated with making money. Particularly as a self employed Joiner from a catholic upbringing! I am generally too tired for evening work although renovating the house has to be undertaken at such times. However during the working day I have found it actually more productive to start the day or break up the day with a little emailing (now!), a workshop improvement or a small home job. When income can be so feast or famine one has to find pleasure in these non (money) profit pursuits.

  11. Michael

    There was a TV series called The Victorian Kitchen Garden in the year of 1987; it is available on DVD, it has a wealth of experience from an elderly head gardener, it is available through Amazon below is a little more about it.

    The Victorian Kitchen Garden is a 13-part British television series produced in 1987 by Keith Sheather for BBC2; based on an idea by Jennifer Davies who later became Associate Producer. It recreated a kitchen garden of the Victorian era at Chilton Foliat. The presenter was the horticultural lecturer, Peter Thoday, the master gardener was Harry Dodson and the director was Keith Sheather.

    • Helen

      Thanks Michael, that’s very thoughtful. I’ve spotted the original book over on Amazon and it’s now on its way! I’m looking forward to seeing what I can glean.

  12. Paul

    Yes Helen during our busy lives we must make time for ourselves sometimes and keep up the vegetable gardening I have had an allotment for twenty years and the is nothing better than eating your own fresh fruit and veg. Best of luck to you both keep up the good work always look forward to the next installment.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Updates:

Related Posts:

Sunday And We’re Back

The day is Sunday, at least it is as I write this. The sun is also really shining. It’s also my first day off in quite some time. I’m sat with my notebook on a bit of beach that may as well be Mars. I come here quite regularly to write, think, sing? And in the...

I’m Sorry For Using Power…

(...YOUR WORDS NOT MINE) Can't Be Bothered To Read, Click Play: We've come to the end of the workbenches so today I'm grouping my machines in to a corner of the workshop as tightly as...

Ever Wish You Were Your Dog?

It just sits there, dreaming in its bed, which is a suitcase. A lovely vintage suitcase, my lovely vintage suitcase. He gets out every now and then for some grub or a walk of which he takes himself, and can shit were ever he likes. How lovely it must be, to be that...

We Teach Online

Practical Hand Tool Education

Watch immediately on PC, tablet or mobile

Browse All Projects